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Staying Fit at Your Kids' Soccer Game

Between work, errands, dinner and shuttling your kids back and forth from activities, it can be challenging to find the time to squeeze some exercise into your day.  Why not take advantage of the time you spend watching your kiddos play soccer (or baseball, football etc.) by fitting in a field-side workout of your own.  Encourage some of the other parents to join in to make it a fun, social activity. Exercise, especially when performed outdoors, can help reduce stress and increase energy, allowing you to tackle the rest of your to-do list with gusto.

If you don’t want to risk missing your kid’s spectacular goal, and if space allows, try walking or jogging around the field.  You can also keep your eyes on the game by performing some stationary exercises including squats and squat jumps, lunges, jumping jacks, high knees, balance exercises and some stretches.


If you have 20 minutes when the game doesn’t require your attention, perhaps during half time or warm ups, try our Simply Soccer Sidelines Workout challenge for a serious sweat.

Simply Soccer Sidelines Workout

Warm up:  Warm up with some brisk walking or jogging for approx. 5 minutes, or until your muscles feel warm.

Directions: Perform Set 1, rest for 1 minute and then complete Set 2.  Repeat each set, resting 1 minute in-between sets. Each set contains 4 exercises that are performed for 1 minute each. Do not rest between exercises.

See below for a description of each exercise.

Set 1:

Perform each exercise for 1 minute. Do not rest between exercises.

  1. Burpees
  2. Squat jumps
  3. Shuttle runs
  4. Plank jacks

Rest 1 minute

Set 2:

Perform each exercise for 1 minute. Do not rest between exercises.

  1. Lunges or jumping lunges
  2. High knee sprints
  3. Push-ups
  4. Skater jumps

Rest 1 minute.  Repeat Set 1 and Set 2, resting 1 minute in-between each set.

Cool down:

Cool down by walking or jogging for a few minutes. Be sure to also spend a few minutes performing some light stretches, focusing on areas that feel tight.


Exercise Descriptions:

  1. Burpees: Start standing with feet hip-width apart and shoulders back. Drop down to place hands in front of feet and jump both legs back, landing on your toes in a plank position. Keep you core tight and body straight head to toe. Jump feet back to hands and then jump up straight as high as you can. Land softly and repeat, placing hands in front of feet and jumping legs back to a plank. Move in a fast, continuous motion and don’t pause between any segment.
  2. Squat Jumps: Start standing with shoulders back and feet hip-width apart. Squat down by hinging at the hips.  Keep your weight on your heels and keep your knees tracking over your toes. Squat down as far as comfortable and then jump up as high as you can.  Focus on jumping high and controlled and landing soft.
  3. Shuttle Runs: Set two points approx. 30-40 m apart. Run quickly from one side to the other, touching the ground on each side.
  4. Plank Jacks: Begin in a plank (push-up) position from your hands and toes. Keep your core tight, and make sure your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Jump your legs out to the side and then jump them back together. Repeat quickly. Be sure to maintain your form throughout the exercise.
  5. Lunges or jumping lunges: Start standing straight with shoulders back. Lunge forward with one leg, making sure your knee is over your toe. Step back and repeat on opposite leg. To perform the jumping lunge, lunge forward with one leg and then jump up, switching legs midair. Land softly and in control.
  6. High Knee Sprints: Run with high knees on the spot. Bring your knees up towards your chest as high as is comfortable for you. Keep you arms pumping as you run.
  7. Push-ups:  Perform push-ups from your toes or knees. Start in a plank position from your hands and toes (or knees) with a straight body head to toe.  Push down, aiming to bring your nose close to the group and push your body back up. Keep your core tight throughout the whole movement, and focus on a full range of motion and proper form instead of speed.
  8. Skater Jumps: Start standing tall with you shoulders back. Jump laterally to the left leading with your left leg. Land softly with your left leg and let your right leg cross behind you. If your range of motion allows, reach down to touch the ground. Then jump laterally to the right. Perform the exercise quickly, but be sure to land softly and in control.


Many of these exercises are plyometric and high impact.  Be sure to warm up well and don’t push your body beyond its limit.  If plyometric exercises are new to you, move slowly through the exercises to get used to the movement and modify any exercise as needed. You can ‘walk through’ any exercise instead of jumping. For example, you can walk your legs back in a burpee and can simply reach your arms up instead of jumping. You can also perform a squat without jumping, walk instead of run through the shuttle runs, hold a plank without performing the jack, do high knee walking on the spot, and can walk through the skater jumps.

Check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise program and exercise within your own limit. If you experience pain, stop and don’t push through any exercise.


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